The Tennessee Titans (11-5) will host the Baltimore Ravens (11-5) this Sunday at noon. It is yet another playoff meeting between these teams.
They met last year in the Divisional Round in Baltimore as well. The Titans stunned the Ravens 28-12 on that night and stunned them again in Baltimore in week eleven of the 2020 season.
If the Titans want to do it a third time, they will have to break some curses.
If you glance at the history between these two teams in just the playoffs, you will notice a trend in the four games they’ve played. The home team has never won the game.
In the 2000-2001 season, the Titans hosted the Ravens and lost 24-10. The Titans were the number one seed at the time. Then in the 2003-04 season, the Titans won in Baltimore, defeating the fourth-seeded Ravens 20-17.
In 2008-09, the Titans were 13-3 with the NFL’s best record, only to lose to the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens 13-10 at home. Most recently, the one-seeded Ravens hosted the sixth-seeded Titans in 2020 and lost stunningly.
Conveniently enough, the Titans find themselves hosting the Ravens this Sunday in the AFC Wild Card round.
There is reason to be confident the trend ends this Sunday.
Let’s be honest; the Titans have been trend killers all season long. They ended the curse of losing in Denver, they ended the 9-7 record curse, and they finally won the AFC South.
Those are just a few examples of the records this team has set this season. But one significant difference in this one will help them end this trend: the offense.
The 2020 Titans’ offense is undoubtedly the best offense the Ravens have seen in these playoff matchups. These two teams are known to be very defensive, but this year, the Titans’ offense will be the one to set the tone.
Although Baltimore’s defense is still respectable, this is the worst Ravens defense the Titans will have seen so far.
In the 2001 playoff matchup, the Titans clashed with a Ravens defense ranked second in the league overall. They battled a defense ranked third in the NFL in 2003. Lastly, in 2008, they collided with a defense ranked second.
Now? That Ravens defense is 7th. Still respectable, but not top five.
That is why having this kind of offense is essential. It will be the difference-maker. It will be the main reason the Titans break the trend and become the first home team to win in this series.
This Arthur Smith offense has what it takes to carry the Tennessee Titans very far.
Featured image by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports